Cricket gets its God

Cricket was deemed a religion in the 1900s since it influenced everyone and everything in and around it. Indian, as well as, popular international brands were eager to sponsor the cricket teams of the entire world. The Indian Cricket team that was  rising to the top was especially in demand among the big brands.

In (add debut year),  a 16-year-old burst on  the scene of international cricket , making people fall in love with his textbook accurate and graceful shots. The sole reason for some people to watch cricket was  this young lad’s batting. The ‘ little master' who would then go on to be called the “God of Cricket”, is none other than Sachin Tendulkar.

 Sachin’s batting continued to entertain people all over the world and constantly win matches for India. This young boy of 5 feet 4 inches bravely faced the West Indian giants like Curtly Ambrose, Malcolm Marshal, Michael Holding, and Joel Garner who always aimed bouncers at your head, Pakistani bowlers like Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis who aimed yorkers at your feet to crush them and of course, the swing bowlers like Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath and Sir Richard Hadlee who swung the ball away from your bats. This era of cricket also had  spin magicians like Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Abdul Qadir, Saqlain Mushtaq, and Daniel Vettori. This boy not only stood his ground in front of them but also hit their balls out of the stadium, announcing the arrival of  a new ‘giant’ on the pitch and in the cricket world. 

In his debut series against Pakistan, Sachin  got wounded and broke his nose while facing the bouncer of Waqar Younis. Waqar, as well as the other players, advised him to get medical attention and retire back to the pavilion. That was when Sachin said, “Mein khelega” which translates to “I will continue playing”.  Despite the bloody situation, he  scored a half century in that match. This was when India and its people knew that there was  something special about  this boy. 

Right from his debut in (    ) till his retirement in (    ), Sachin was the backbone of the entire Indian cricket team for 24 years. Few of Sachin’s memorable innings were when he scored a smash-buckling 143 in an ODI against Australia at Sharjah during a sandstorm, 98 against Pakistan in 2003 World Cup, unbeaten 241 against the mighty Aussies helping India score over 700 runs in the first innings and 117 against West Indies in 2022. Sachin holds many records which are still unbeatable - most runs in career (34,357), most hundreds (100), most fifties (264), most number of test matches played (200) and he was the first to score 200 in an ODI match. He has been the recipient of many accolades such as  the Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award, the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan award, all of which are  greatly honorable civilian awards in India.

Sachin struggled to win the World Cup in _____, which was his only dream that  kept him going. But at the end of his career in 2011, MS Dhoni’s Indian Cricket Team won it for Sachin. Unfortunately Sachin didn’t perform well in that match but he deserved to win the Cup nonetheless for his efforts throughout the years. One can say that the Almighty could not see Sachin, the God of cricket, retire without the World Cup trophy in his collection. 

Sachin played for 2 more years after winning the World Cup. On 16th November, 2013, he retired after his 200th test match,  which he played at the Wankhede Ground in Mumbai, India. After the match, he delivered a speech, which left not only India but the whole world in tears. 

This little man carried the burden of 1.3 billion people’s expectations on his shoulders for 24 long years. A line from Sachin’s speech caught my attention,  was  that his 24 year career  between the 22 yards of the pitch was the finest time of his life. He is the  paramount reason why India is on the map of the cricket world. It does not matter if Sachin’s records are beaten or if new talents enter the field, he was, is and will always be “The God of Cricket”. Nothing can strip him of this title.